Seth Godin has a new book out today, entitled We Are All Weird. I love the title. I love Seth’s stuff in general. I think his book Tribes has been one of the most influential books on my thinking about community and how we organize ourselves in this hyper-connected, digital age.
I’m intrigued by the endorsement of We Are All Weird by Chris Taylor, founder of ActionableBooks.com: “This is a book about giving a damn. It’s about caring about what you do and (as importantly) who you do it for.”
Giving a damn. Caring.
This seems to be a recurring theme right now in the realms of tech and business. Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest book The Thank You Economy basically advises companies that the way to get ahead in this new economy is to “care more” than their competitors.
If corporations can legally be considered persons, then it only makes sense that the corporations that succeed will be the ones that are the friendliest and most relational, not cold and calculating.
But this whole notion of companies “caring” causes me to wonder: When did churches and faith communities lose the corner on the “caring” market? And, perhaps more importantly, do we even realize that we’ve lost it? And what do we do about it?
It seems that organized religion has been, up until recent memory, the bastion of caring in a civil society — sponsoring and even starting many organizations that provide much of the social safety net we know of and rely on today (e.g., hospitals, non-profit parachurch organizations, food pantries, homeless shelters, support groups, etc.).
But despite all our best efforts to make the world a better place, we’ve lost our claim on “caring.” The book Unchristian documents this decline in pretty stark detail, particularly for evangelical churches.
My concern is whether our churches and denominations even realize that the mantle has been passed — and what, if anything, we’re going to do to try and win it back. Do we even care to try?